This past week has been jammed full of happenings in the restaurant kitchen, including a ferociously busy Mother’s Day brunch, and catering amidst all the usual sorts of busyness. It’s always revealing to step into a new kitchen and discover what works well with the set-up, what’s challenging, and what simply isn’t efficient or effective—at all. So, I’m attempting to seamlessly meld into an existing model, yet create change where it’s sorely needed. Like so many aspects of life, people stop noticing dysfunction in a landscape that has become too familiar. I’m eager to see where those changes lead me.

It’s also been a week of continuing to sculpt and refine a new business venture with a friend, something I’m happily immersed in! And as luck (in one instance) and planning (in the other) would have it, I had the chance to spend time with the two chefs who mentored me when I jumped head first into the absurdly wild world of cooking. It felt good to be able to reflect on my growth from their perspective and to take stock of my accomplishments. As always, it was an opportunity to shake our heads, laugh, vent, make amends, acknowledge failures and triumphs, draw insight and speak from the heart. Paths cross, entwine, diverge and reconnect. We examine our bruises with each fall, and picking ourselves up, step forward with as much grace and gratitude as we can muster.

And while I’ve been preoccupied lately with the business of sorting things out, an explosion of blossoms and intoxicating scent has taken place all around me. I pulled my head from a sea of details, a current so strong it threatened to consume me, and tilted it toward lilac and apple blossoms illuminated against a turquoise sky. Nature tapped me on the shoulder as if to say: look what I’ve done while you’ve been gone. The strength that she has to rise and rise again, mobilizes and inspires me. Her unassuming beauty, tender and stripped down to its essential elements, commands my senses, instantly reconnecting those disparate parts of myself. My shoulders unclenched and my mood shifted. My lower back released its tension, my heart opened, oxygen and joy rushed in …